There is a lot that a newly certified diver must remember which just might put off new divers. Although snorkeling in Sabah doesn’t sound too bad at all, you really ought to be diving in the deep ocean after being qualified to do so. With that in mind, here is a list of the top tips from a PADI Instructor for new divers.
1. Want Improved Air Consumption?
Air hog – that is what a diver air tank which contains the least amount of air after a dive is called. Oftentimes, it is the new diver who is labelled this. Don’t worry, breathing more air when excited is natural – and what can top the level of excitement than your first dive? The great news is that your consumption of air will improve. As your level of experience increases, you will feel more comfortable with your gear at which point buoyancy will start to become second nature.
2. Going Slow is Important
Use small increments to add air to your buoyancy control (BC), wait a bit and observe how the added air has changed your buoyancy. Add a few puffs and take a couple of breaths, reassess after few fin kicks. You will avoid your dive profile from looking like a saw blade’s zigzags by slowly adding air to your BC. Remember that when ascending, not to add air to your BC, instead use your fins and release expanding air slowly.
3. Never Become the Victim of Peer Pressure
Any diver can for any reason call off any dive, no questions asked or answered. A great way of pushing your personal boundaries is taking up scuba diving. That being said, even though you may want to embrace new things, never allow yourself to be pressured by others to do anything that does not feel right to you. Do what you love, not what others tell you to do.
4. Get a Mask that Fits Well
A leaking mask that is tight on your face and ears is one of the most uncomfortable things. Seeing what is happening underwater is the entire point of scuba diving. If the mask is constantly leaking, then it impairs is your vision and is a distraction. An optimal scuba experience starts with choosing a mask that is fitted by a professional. A mask that fits properly helps you keep your focus and makes the dive far more enjoyable.
5. Use Your Weight System to Control Your Weight Problem
Overweighting themselves is easy for new divers to do. Take the time and experiment so you can fine tune your weight and neutral buoyancy as you dive is the payoff. The trick here is weight checking when your tank has less air, right after your dive. Neutral buoyancy underwater will help you to not bump into reefs, it will also help you control your descent, improve your air consumption and reduce the risk of ear injuries. On the surface, by easily being able to establish buoyancy that is positive, you will avoid having to struggle to stay afloat.
6. Keep a Logbook
With each exposure suit, the amount of weight to add differs. There are several weight configurations that every diver has to remember. Once you have found your ideal weight, jot it down in your logbook. Recording your wetsuit thickness and weight in a logbook will really come in handy later. Your future self will be thanking you because you will know the exact weight needed to get started.
7. Equalise Early and Often
Clearing your ears will very likely be difficult. If you descend faster than you are able to equalise, you are at risk of injuring your ears. To help you gauge your speed, use a descent line. The moment you experience any discomfort, stop and head back up a bit until the discomfort subsides. Before continuing, equalise the pressure in your ears. As said earlier, so that you are able to enjoy a nice, slow trip down to your desired depth, master your buoyancy.
8. Continue Learning
If the advice given in this post were to be summarised, it would simply be “log more dives.” As with any new hobby, the key to mastering your skill is practice. Enrolling in another scuba diving course is a great way to practice more. The perfect introduction to these specialties is the PADI Adventures in Diving program. When you are a new diver, undergoing a secondary course is much like having a coach that helps you set goals as well as prevents you from forming bad habits.